Are you looking for handy tips on how to start dropshipping business in Nigeria, Canada, India or anywhere you’re?
This is a typical highly profitable business you can do from home and own your time.
Dropshipping in Nigeria is good for you if you’re tired of putting up with the horrible traffic and everyday stress at your office.
Or if you just want to sack your boss, but don’t have a clue on how to do that, this is one BIG shot.
Let’s talk about how you can set up a dropshipping business with only a few web and digital marketing skills.
Starting a dropshipping business isn’t expensive, and not easy either.
If you know how to do it, the business can be a lifetime opportunity for you.
But first of all, let’s briefly look at what dropshipping is and how it works.
TABLE OF CONTENT
- 1 What is dropshipping and how does dropshipping work in Nigeria?
- 2 Which niche is best for dropshipping in Nigeria
- 3 How to start dropshipping business in Nigeria step by step?
- 3.1 #1. Find out what you want to sell
- 3.2 #2. Get suppliers
- 3.3 #3. Strategic planning
- 3.4 #4. Grow your business
- 3.5 #5. Make customer service a top priority
- 4 Solving the payment issue
- 5 Conclusion
What is dropshipping and how does dropshipping work in Nigeria?
The dropshipping business is part of e-commerce where the seller doesn’t have a physical stock but acts as a simple intermediary between the supplier and the buyer.
Simply put, the dropshipping process is like:
- You have an online store;
- Someone buys in your store at retail price; and
- You buy that same item from a wholesale supplier and the supplier sends the goods in your name to the buyer.
The advantage is that you don’t have to worry about having a physical stock of products before you can sell something to your customers.
The supplier has the products in his own stores and will take care of shipping or supplying the customers in your own name.
Dropshipping works in such a way that the customers won’t even know you’re actually just an intermediary.
The business is a quick and inexpensive way to make money online.
Even if you already have a full-time job, you can make extra income if you know how to start dropshipping business.
Does it sound too good to be true?
Understandably, most online store owners start from home.
But because dropshipping can take up 2 to 3 years to get enough sales and realize initial investments on inventory, equipment, shipments, staff and space, most fail.
That is the concern of the suppliers, since they are the ones bearing all the upfront costs.
With that, you have the freedom to focus on your growth.
Your own concern is just to pay for the products you sell, making it easy for you to get your idea up and running.
Which niche is best for dropshipping in Nigeria
A niche can be referred to as the part of an industry to do a business.
As far as dropshipping is concerned, you need to choose a niche to determine the category of store or products you are to open.
Assuming you want to dropship with AliExpress, it’s important you choose a niche.
It can be Home and Pets or Cars and Motorbikes.
Meanwhile, choosing a niche will determine the category of products you are to sell.
That doesn’t mean it is easy to choose a niche.
The industry has many niches and some are more competitive than the others. In view of this, a serious research is involved.
But if you’re not sure of what niche to choose, here is the list of 10 dropshipping niches that are trending in 2021.
- Men’s Clothing & Accessories Dropshipping Niches
- Women’s Fashion & Accessories Dropshipping Niches
- Health & Wellness Dropshipping Niches
- Kids & Babies Dropshipping Niches
- Home & Kitchen Dropshipping Niches
- Phone Accessories Dropshipping Niches
- Home and Pets
- Cars and Motorbikes
- Hair Extensions and Wigs
How to start dropshipping business in Nigeria step by step?
Dropshipping is relatively inexpensive. Literally, all you need is a computer with an internet connection to start the business.
Currently, there are several websites that are responsible for producing your own web store for a modest amount of money.
You just have to buy a domain and host your site. Then, start with the design and install all the necessary plugins you need to sell your products.
If you can’t create your website yourself, consider hiring a web designer to create a very nice website for your dropshipping business.
It’s just as simple as buying a responsive WordPress theme, doing the set up – integrate some eCommerce sites or plugins like Shopify or Woocommerce into the theme and get started.
Once your dropshipping website is ready, these are the essential steps you need to take on how to start dropshipping business in Nigeria.
- Find out what you want to sell
- Get suppliers
- Strategic Planning
- Grow your business
- Make customer service a top priority
Let’s break down the steps one by one to help you understand the tasks before you.
#1. Find out what you want to sell
Dropshipping is a great online business in Nigeria because anyone can venture into it. But because there’s a lot of competition in the industry, the business is very challenging.
Think about how you’re going to stand out from the competition.
That depends on the kind of products you want to sell. They must be very essential and trending products.
Do you already have any idea of what you want to sell?
If no, then the following tactics will help you:
a. Conduct a product research
There are many ways to find dropshipping products. One is the use of Dropshipping Product Research Tools or the use of Google Trends.
If you eventually decide to use a product research tool, how do you know its accuracy?
To know the accuracy of a product research tool isn’t difficult.
According to TorchBankz a product research tool MUST be able to identify the following types of products in its result:
- Trending products
- Niche products
- Impulse products
- Wow products
- Product that gives immediate gratification
- Products that are easy to use, etc.
Don’t bother to waste your time and effort in using any tool that can’t give you this kind of report. It doesn’t worth trying.
To save you some stress, you can use any tool recommended by any of the following best dropshipping suppliers:
- WorldWide Brands
- WholeSale Central
- Mega Goods
- Inventory Source
- National Dropshippers
Each supplier has a tool that you can use to analyse all its products and find the best products you can venture into.
b. Decide on what you want to sell
Sometimes deciding on what you don’t want to sell is the best way to get started.
If there are three available products among which you don’t want to involve yourself in two for some reasons, it means the remaining one is your BEST BET!
- If you don’t want to trouble yourself over expiration dates, that means foods should be crossed out of your list.
- What about size and return issues? If you don’t want this kind of trouble, that also means, selling online clothing is not for you.
c. Consider price factor
Another important consideration is the price of your products.
Price plays important roles in identifying what products to sell in your dropshipping business in Nigeria.
The sale of a product of ₦2,000 will take you the same work to manage the order as that of a product of ₦50,000.
But mind you, your income will be a percentage of each sale.
In view of this, you can earn more by selling more expensive products. And the implication is you may sell fewer items. And it may also require more efforts to sell each product.
In that case, you may need to consider cheaper products and this pricing strategy will help.
#2. Get suppliers
The fundamental of learning how to start dropshipping business in Nigeria or anywhere in the world is not actually learning how to create a dropshipping website or to be a good marketer.
If you don’t get a good supplier, what can you actually do?
For that reason, the fundamental of dropshipping business is getting a good supplier, but not just a single supplier per se.
Ultimately, it’s productive to have a good deal with two or more suppliers with the same products.
So, this can save you from a situation where you need to explain to your customers that your stock is exhausted.
Be informed that most suppliers are not manufacturers. They also get their supplies from manufacturers or sometimes from another bigger supplier.
That raises the alarm about the need to ensure whom you’re dealing with has quality products. It’s very important to consider the quality of the products you want to sell.
The reason is that whatever product a customer buys from your store is shipped in your name, not the supplier. And if you don’t ascertain quality, you might dent your own brand name.
You can get a list of over 150 best dropshipping companies and suppliers based on their niches and geographical locations.
#3. Strategic planning
Dropshipping is a quick way to create your own online business but to succeed you need to think like an entrepreneur.
In order words, you need to have strategic business planning if you want to succeed in your dropshipping business in Nigeria.
Having a good business plan will simplify your dropshipping business idea.
You can have upto ten plans or more or less, don’t exhaust yourself by trying to carry out all the plans at once.
It’s a process which involves a step at a time. You can carry out all your plans little by little on each day.
Because you don’t have all the time in the world, you need to be time conscious and make sure you plan the whole business processes upfront.
How can you go about planning your dropshipping business strategically?
Let’s use a simple example here!
You may not need to follow this, but at least, it will be a good guide for you to get started.
Write a plan of approximately 5 years to think about what you want to achieve with the business.
Then find answers to the following questions:
- Do you want to earn ₦200,000 or ₦1 million in the first two months?
- What is your budget to set up the business?
- What resources do you have?
- Is there good demand for the product(s) you want to sell?
- How will you keep track of the inventory?
- What skills do you have and in what areas do you need to improve?
It’s worthy of note to assess whether your expectations are realistic before you start dropshipping in Nigeria.
Dropshipping makes it easy to create a business online, but sometimes profit margins are low.
So, think about how much you have to sell to reach your financial and professional goals.
Set goals that are high, but within your reach – something between high and low goals are cool.
As you build your plan, make sure your goals are specific and measurable and set deadlines to achieve each goal.
Getting any business off the ground is a time-consuming process.
You need enough time to get the job right, but not so much as to avoid losing focus or momentum.
The bottom line is, if you want to learn how to start a successful dropshipping business, you also need to learn how to manage time, make efforts, and apply trial and error strategies sometimes to know what will work for you.
#4. Grow your business
When you start a dropshipping business, you have competitors like Jumia, Konga and a lot more local eCommerce stores in Nigeria.
So, you should start thinking about how to grow amidst your competitors.
All you have to do is to adopt a content marketing strategy, offering expert’s knowledge and advice because good shopping advice can make you gain a lot of customers online.
As most big eCommerce companies are busy dealing with expansion, you can stick to this strategy and establish your own market first.
The point is you can always do one thing better to outshine your competitors.
And this includes:
a. Create a brand identity
To grow, you’ll need to focus on your niche and create a fabulous brand identity to help customers understand why your brand is special.
Build a strong online store that creates a great experience for your customers.
Your website will be the main way for your customers to gain confidence in you and your business.
So make sure it speaks well of your business information.
b. Have a good marketing strategy
Having a good marketing strategy can help you grow your dropshipping business in real time.
If you want strategies that can evolve over time, you have to stick to social media marketing strategy.
The use of social media is ultimately the best to boost your audience and promote your brand’s story online.
The strategy includes the use of Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Whatsapp, Telegram, and so on, for marketing.
c. Use local business directory
You can equally extend your marketing effort to local business directories or portals that have a large number of users.
That will help your brand become popular on the internet.
d. Leverage influencer marketing
Another way to grow your dropshipping business in Nigeria is to identify the influencers which you think your customers might trust.
Then, you can seek their support in promoting your products.
While your suppliers concern themselves with product details and logistics, you can focus your energy on the growth of your business.
#5. Make customer service a top priority
The happiness of your customers is the most important part of any business. If you want to start dropshipping in Nigeria, your customer service must be very efficient.
The moment your drop shipping website is ready, experiment all the functions of the website to see if everything is working fine.
Each function of your website has a great impact on user experience.
For a better assessment, take your time to buy a product on your dropshipping website and ensure the product is shipped to you just like a customer.
After receiving the product, look for the following items:
- Did the package contain your brand logo or delivery note?
- How was the shipping and tracking experience?
- Did the time and shipping process meet the conditions you set on your website?
As you explore the important aspects of dropshipping in Nigeria, you’ll realize that many of your customers’ top concerns aren’t in your hands.
But yet, you can’t refer your customer to your supplier in case there is an issue due to a sold item.
For this reason, you have to forward all the issues to the supplier and ensure you get a good response and make the customer happy.
This is where efficient and effective customer service comes to play.
Just because you have collected payment first hand, doesn’t mean you should lock up on your customers when there is an issue.
If you don’t make your customers happy, you won’t go anywhere close to success in dropshipping business in Nigeria.
Reporting damaged products, late shipments, incorrect orders, and refunds will be your responsibility. And you’re the one to resolve all the issues between your supplier and the customers.
In view of this, you should be able to find good answers to the following problems before getting started:
- How do you plan to anticipate and meet your customer needs?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses in customer service?
- How do you build relationships at work or with your family?
- How will you use those skills to create a great experience for your buyers?
In a nutshell, your interaction with your customers is very important.
So, you have to ensure each customer gets a good reply immediately when you receive an email.
Don’t send a reply without taking your time to read your answers and ensure the tone of your response is friendly, understanding and participatory.
Solving the payment issue
The greatest challenge of dropshipping business in Nigeria remains payment gateways.
There are many opportunities which most Nigerians can’t exploit because we don’t have a direct means of receiving payments online.
PayPal which is one of the most widely used payment gateways in the world doesn’t give access to Nigerian sellers.
Lately, people have discovered some legal means to receive payments from their PayPal accounts.
And these include:
a. Use a VPN
With the use of a virtual private network (VPN), you can break into PayPal. Any VPN tool can do this. But for an optimum result, it’s better to use a premium VPN.
The tool can be used to hide your IP Address so that when you’re online, PayPal won’t find out you’re from Nigeria.
There are many VPN tools out there.
You can search Google for one that can serve your purpose, depending on your budget or choose one among these best ten.
b. PayPal Report
Most Nigerians have started using PayPal Report to set up their PayPal business accounts and start receiving payments.
This method doesn’t involve hiding your IP Address. It’s more straightforward than the use of a VPN.
All you need to open a PayPal business account with PayPal Report is a Nigerian phone number, valid contact address, ATM card and valid government issued identification (ID) card.
Both the use of VPN and PayPal Report are legal.
You just have to pay those who own the tools a little amount of money for their hard work in getting you a solution.
Paystack is completely PayPal alternative which by default accepts Nigerian local payments.
In order for you to receive international payments on this platform, you need your CAC particulars and a local corporate bank account in your business name.
That is not all.
The process involves sending a request letter to Paystack for their service.
If the company is certified your request, they will grant you an approval which will allow you to start receiving payments in Nigeria via the platform from any part of the world.
In your quest to learn how to start dropshipping business in Nigeria, the following points have been made in this post:
You must have learnt that dropshipping is not a business that grows automatically. It requires creating your brand identity to position your brand in the market ahead of others.
In that case, you have to invest in time to gain customer trust, overcome the barrier of online shopping mistrust, offer efficient customer service and make your customers buy back in your business.
With all that effort, dropshipping in Nigeria is a business you can easily start and grow.